My Kitchen and Pantry
I think I run a fairly minimal kitchen. But I do love my gadgets. And I love the convenience of ordering groceries from Amazon. Below are the tools I use in my kitchen as well as the ingredients I usually order from Amazon. If you use the links to purchase items from Amazon, it will help support my family and me with no additional cost to you. And if you have a "must-have" item you don't see here, I'd love to know what it is!
My blender is no longer sold (I bought it at Costco), but this is as close as I could find to the one I have. I actually have two containers and blades, a tall one and a half-size. My favorite feature is that the blending blades go up through the container, so you don't have to keep shoving down whatever is being blending. It works well and has me wondering why every blender isn't designed this way.
I actually have a stand mixer as well, but I plan to resell it when I get back the U.S.A. I tried some attachments to replace my food processor, but honestly couldn't figure them out well enough. And I don't care for the counter-top foot print of such a large machine. A hand mixer is good enough for mixing up the occasional bread or baked item and for whipping egg whites and cream. Yes, it takes a bit more supervision, but I don't need that function so often that is worth a square foot of my counter.
I don't actually have this one yet, but I know I need a new food processor when I get back stateside, and this is the one I selected. I left a dying one behind and my blender/processor combo machine here has taught me not to cut corners with kitchen electronics. I use my food processor (or did when I had one that had enough power and blades that didn't crack) daily to cut down on the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. I love it for grating and slicing, and I'm hoping to find one powerful enough to make nut butter.
Lodge Cast Iron
I have three cast-iron pans: a 12-inch, 10-inch, and 6-inch. It is not at all uncommon for me to use all three at once, especially on pancake mornings.
This was a gift several years ago, and I was thrilled to receive it. I probably wouldn't have spent this much on myself, but I know that this pan will be good my entire life and likely be part of a starter set of pots and pans for some descendant, along with my Lodge skillets.
I think many people have more knives than they need. I only ever used a few, so when I decided to buy high quality knives to replace the cheaper ones I received as wedding gifts, I made sure to buy only the ones I needed. I purchase the J.A. Henckel's "S" series knives, but I didn't buy them as a 10-piece set. I have a 4-inch paring knife, a 5-inch serrated knife (good for tomatoes and bread), Santokus (which I personally prefer to chef's knives) in 5 and 7-inches, and 4 steak knives.
I sharpen my knives about once per month using this quick little gadget and it makes a world of difference! It is so much easier AND SAFER to use a sharp knife because it allows you to use less force and stay in control of the knife.
I have a couple of items on my wishlist that I am waiting to get. I just don't want to buy too many 220v appliances only to find I'm living in a 110v world in a year or so. I'm dying for an Instant Pot for years. I actually gave one to my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas because I think it looks amazing. I don't have a 110v slow cooker anymore, so this will be a replacement and so much more. After waiting for so long, I want the top of the line.
I will also be in the market for an espresso machine. We are coffee lovers and drinkers, and this isn't a priority, but we've talked about it for years. Does anyone have one that they especially recommend? We don't need it to be super fancy, and you can probably guess that I love a small footprint.